The Best Stretches To Relieve Shoulder Pain

If you have a physically demanding job, try to stay active outside or around the house, or simply sit at a desk and work all day, chances are that you've experienced shoulder pain. According to the National Library of Medicine, 18-26% of adults have experienced shoulder pain at some point. As the most mobile joint in the body, our shoulders are often overused, causing the tendons to be inflamed (via Dignity Health).

While there are ways you can avoid back and shoulder pain while working at your desk, it should never be ignored. If you delay getting help for your pain or hope it will go away on its own, you risk further damaging your muscle tendons. According to Advanced Bone & Joint, what begins as a slight pain or a dull ache can soon escalate to an inability to do simple tasks such as washing dishes or brushing your teeth.

However, stretching regularly and consistently increases blood flow and can help alleviate slight discomfort you may feel in your shoulders (via Healthline).

Turn to yoga

Yoga has been used as a spiritual practice by South Asians for thousands of years, and many people worldwide also use a daily yoga practice to relieve chronic pain. While it is not a cure-all for every type of pain, it can reduce tendon inflammation and improve flexibility.

According to Everyday Yoga, Balasana, known more popularly as Child's Pose, is one of the most popular yoga poses. Not only is it easy for beginners, but it provides tension relief for the neck, shoulders, and back. To do the pose, begin on your hands and knees and slowly spread your knees apart, bringing your big toes together. Settle your butt into your heels as your arms stretch forward, so your chest rests on your thighs. Breathe deeply and hold the pose for about five minutes.

Adho Mukha Svanasana, or Downward-Facing Dog, is a standing inversion pose that stretches the muscles in your shoulders and back, alleviating pain. It's one of the easier yoga poses and can be mastered in a few short steps. Start on your hands and knees and ensure your wrists are aligned with your shoulders, and your knees are aligned with your hips. Press your weight into the floor using your hands and knees and form your body into the shape of an "A," making sure your knees are slightly bent. Flex your shoulders by bringing your head towards your feet. Maintain a straight spine and hold the pose for one minute.

Utilize household objects

Rather than spending money on fitness equipment, you can turn everyday objects in your home into your own personal gym. If you want to open your chest up and strengthen your shoulders, Healthline suggests a simple doorway stretch. Place your arm on the doorway and form a 90-degree angle with your elbow. Step forward with your right foot as you press your palms into the door frames. Ensuring that your core is engaged, lean forward and hold the pose for about 30 seconds. Repeat the stretch with your left foot and do it three times for each side.

To stretch your shoulders and neck, try a seated twist. Sit down in a dining or desk chair and keep your hips facing forward throughout the stretch. Ensure that your ankles are aligned with your knees and twist your upper body to the right. Place the back of your left hand on your thigh and put your right hand wherever it's comfortable. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds and repeat on each side four times.